By Virginia Zuck Times-Union Feature Writer
At the turn of the century, Warsaw had a doctor who practiced his profession devotedly for 32 years and simultaneously raised some of the finest trotting horses in the country.
He was Dr. John Marshall Bash who built an imposing home, later razed when the government erected the present post office. An ornamental piece from that house serves as a bird bath on the lawn of the doctor's daughter-in-law, Mrs. Flint Bash, West Main street. The massive desk from his office is the prized possession of a grandson, Dr. Wallace Bash, Fort Wayne pediatrician.
Born in 1848
Dr. John Bash was born in Fayette county Dec. 17, 1848. At the age of eight he moved with his parents to Marion county. He attended school when he could. During busy seasons on the farm he stayed home to help his father. In 1867 he completed his freshman year at Northwestern Christian University in Indianapolis and then went to Ashbury University at Greencastle. Ashbury later became DePaul University.
With two years of college behind him he began to study medicine under Dr. J. I. Rooker, of Indianapolis. By the winter of 1871 he had advanced in medical lore sufficiently to take a course of lectures at Ohio medical college in Cincinnati. John Bash's next preceptor was Dr. J. D. Shirley, of New London, in a little town southwest of Kokomo. The young man continued his studies and assisted in the doctor's practice for two years. Finally, Bash entered Indiana Medical College at Indianapolis where he was graduated in 1874.
Moved Here in 1877
He began his practice in McCordsville in the northwest corner of Hancock County but moved to Warsaw in December of 1877. In 1881 he married Miss Elizabeth Wallace, daughter of a Kosciusko county pioneer, Samuel Wallace.
They had two sons, Wallace, who was accidentally drowned in Chapman Lake in 1909 at the age of 27, and Flint, named for Dr. Austin Flint, a famous Philadelphia physician who Dr. Bash greatly admired.
The doctor was a member of the Warsaw Commandery of Knights Templar and attained 32nd degree in Masonry. For many years he was a director of the Lake City Bank and of the Maish and Gordon Manufacturing Co. He also had a financial interest in many other local enterprises. At one time he owned a magnificent chunk of Chicago real estate on South Halstead street, between Jackson Boulevard and Bedford Place.
Model Stock Farm
"Doc" Bash took special pride in his model stock farm south of Warsaw on road 15. A large tome titled "Memorial Record of Northeastern Indiana"* gives two and one half columns to his trotters and brood mares. His prize stallion was Phoebus, son of Onward with Hambletonian blood. Names he gave the others were curiously appropriate for a doctor's steeds; Ether, Magnesia, Cinchona, Citrate, Ergot, Bismuth and Aloes.
Dr. Bash was greatly respected by his colleagues and beloved by his patients whom he served with great devotions. He had a quiet dignity and reassuring calmness in any crisis. Fond of outdoor life he often vacationed at one of the area lakes.
Although he had been in failing health for some time he remained active in his profession. The evening before his death he was out calling on patients. He died of Addison's disease on Jan. 28, 1909.
*Memorial Record of Northeastern Indiana pages 640 (portrait), 641-643.
Warsaw Times-Union Saturday July 19, 1958
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